Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell, 2009

You have been a great year--lots of changes, most importantly the addition of Lila to our family as well as the rest of the 09-ers! We did lose one dear family member, but we all know Dee Dee is keeping a close watch over us all. It is never a bad thing to have another advocate in Heaven.

I took down the ornaments from the tree today while Bronwen was at Gymboree. She came home and asked what happened to them. I told her we had to take the tree down, and she told me she didn't want to. I couldn't argue because I don't want to either. Right now the tree is up with lights only. Maybe we both need to do the tree deconstruction in phases to ease the sadness.

I really dislike New Year's Eve. All the fools in the neighborhood start the fireworks at 6, and I spend the entire evening worried they will wake up the girls.

We don't have any champagne in the house. I'll have to get T.J. to make me some sort of special cocktail. We were invited to a party, but with the girls being sick, I felt like a quiet evening at home was best. Plus, I am a bit afraid of the crazies on the road.

Lila has discovered the windowsills and delights in peering out of the windows. T.J. is going to try to get some pictures tomorrow.

Until then, here are some photos of the girls playing outside today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30

T.J. had an epiphany tonight--he looked at me as we were eating dinner and said, "You know, Lila eats just like Cookie Monster. It looks like she is eating a lot, but really everything is going out of the sides and into the chair." He is talking about the finger foods we put in front of her, and he is so right. The evidence of her scam is all over the chair and floor.

Bronwen and I enjoyed the rain today--she got to wear her Hello Kitty rain gear when we went to the grocery store. We also spent some time watching some old videos on the blog. We got to March, and I was amazed how much she has grown and changed in less than a year. She went from saying, "Two towers" when I asked what she was building to--"I am going to go build two towers out of my blocks, Mama." Which she did, with her new Duplos. She built two tall towers and then put a bigger Duplo across the top and explained that it is the letter "T." She is practically an adult.

For Lindsey

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Night Time

Bronwen just kissed me good night and gave me a good cuddle. Then she hopped off my lap, started walking towards her room, and declared, "I want to go on a date!"

Un, yeah, I don't think so.

New Hoodie

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28

Nothing too exciting except T.J. went back to work, and the morning started with major leaking diaper, courtesy of Bronwen. The rest of the morning was spent with a sick Bronwen being kind of weepy and anti-Lila, and Lila being determined to play with anything Bronwen had.
Explosive combo, yes, and my patience was tested. Now I know why Bronwen was saying, "It's too much; I can't take it any more" at dinner Sunday night. Oops.

We went to Hallmark to check out the sales and had to stop by The Purple Cow (thrift store) to look at the mannequins. Bronwen is in a complimentary phase, mostly to inanimate objects (good job, chair; good work, crayons), and had to tell one of them how beautiful her dress was. Never mind that it looked like something Blanche would wear to a ball on Golden Girls, all sequins, shoulder pads, and chiffon. She was hugging the skirt saying, "This dress is beau-tiful, mannequin!"

We also saw the Knight in shining armor they have there; it's about 5 feet tall. It's really hard to explain what a knight is, especially when Bronwen has no concept of a homophone. Still she wants to go visit it, and we had to say goodbye to it before we left.

Afternoon went better; Lila actually slept for over 2 hours at nap time. Bronwen slept for 3 and a half. I actually had time to eat lunch.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Out-Smarted By a 2-year Old

I came home tonight from Petsmart, and Bronwen was eating a cookie post dinner. She finished, got out of her chair and played for awhile. I noted we had some oranges that needed eating, so I asked her if she wanted one. She replied, "Sure" (sounds more like "Shoo-or). She got back in her chair and began eating her orange.

I decided I wanted a cookie, so I got one. Bronwen saw me eating the cookie and the following is a transcript of our conversation:

B: Ohh, Mama, why are you eating that cookie?
Me: Because I wanted a cookie.
B: Can I have a bite?
Me: You already had a cookie after your dinner.
B: Can I please have a bite of yours?
Me: Okay, just one little bite.

(I broke off about 1/4 of the cookie and put it in front of her)

B: I want my own cookie.
Me: No, Bronwen, you asked for a bite, and I said you could have a bite.
B: But I want my own. Not this.
Me: How about we trade--I'll take a bite of your orange and you can have this bite of my cookie.
B: No, you can have your own orange.
Me: Oh, okay, then you can have your own....oh.

That stinker. She got me.


First some of the Christmas morning fun:

While Bronwen was playing, Lila enjoyed her new table:

The table came wrapped in a large sheet of white cardboard which I placed by the back door for recycling. Before I knew it, Bronwen had taken it, an empty box that her cookie set came in (thanks, Miss Leslie and Mr. Aaron), and a kitchen towel, and she was asking me to push her in her "sleigh." I had no idea what she meant, but here is her creation (kitchen towel was inside the cookie box, as a seat). It actually looked like a pretty fun sleigh.


Christmas morning was hectic and insane, and we didn't open all the gifts, but Bronwen and Lila were so excited and happy with their new toys. We went into the living room, and immediately both Lila and Bronwen started playing with the farm that Aunt Jana had sent to Lila. It took an incredible amount of coercion to get Bronwen to open some of her own presents. As this was going on, T.J. and I had lox and bagels. Bronwen later had French toast with snow (powdered sugar). It was a hard Christmas for me because both girls were sick--Lila and Bronwen powered through somehow.

Some pictures:
Our tree with presents!My girl:
Opening present chaos:
Getting a picture with them both didn't work out so well:
Lila's new light and music table:

I think she likes it!
Bronwen's new giant floor puzzle from Aunt Jana:
Lila loves her barn!
We headed over to T.J.'s parents' house to see all the cousins, aunts, uncles, et al. And I mean all. Here they are--the 11 grandkids on the St. Romain side:
We took a break to eat:
The whole group:
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mystery Solved Times 2

I told Bronwen that we could watch Sesame Street this morning, and I sat down on the couch to watch it with her. It is an episode that she has been really into lately, when Louis fixes a broken washing machine. Anyhow, I've never watched it all the way through until today and suddenly two mysteries have been solved:

1. Bronwen sometimes runs around yelling, "Oh my pizza!" and now I know why--Murray calls the little lamb "ovejita," and Bronwen was hearing it, erm, a little differently.

2. I was playing with a kitten we are petsitting, and Bronwen was pretending the cat toy was a wand (because it looks like a wand). She kept waving it crying, "Fragile butt ware!" I was so confused but didn't want to make a big issue out of it--now I know what she was saying: the fairy in the episode is trying to give Cinderella a glass slipper and says, "Fragile foot wear." Thank goodness I know, because Bronwen would no doubt ask me what "butt ware" meant, and I'd have to come up with some sort of answer.

Christmas Eve

The day has already started well, despite the girls having runny noses. Bronwen and T.J. made French toast, and Lila stood up in her crib on her own today. Now my girls are headed out to play with chalk, and I am heading for the shower. Oh, also Bronwen has decided to be a cat today, and she is rubbing her face all over my shirt, making purring sounds. I guess this means I am now the human Kleenex. Yes, it is as gross as it sounds.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Daddy's Helper

T.J. wanted to get in on the cookie-making action, so I assigned him the job of slicing and baking. He certainly could not be trusted to do it alone, of course, so I got my trusty supervisor to assist.Mimi is making Bronwen a much-needed pink apron for Christmas, so we can save her Lowe's apron for her woodworking projects.

Singing Clarification

Just to explain further, this is not the first time Bronwen has told me not to sing. T.J. always sings her silly songs in the bath tub, and she has it in her mind that he is the only one who is allowed to sing to her. It does not matter what I sing, I hear, "No, no, Daddy sings songs." Then, after my mom visited: "No, no, only Daddy sings songs...and Mimi." I have only been allowed one thing, according to Bronwen: "You can whistle."

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21

I was singing a Christmas song to Bronwen today, and she kept telling me to stop. I persisted, refusing to be ordered around by my toddler, and she said, "Stop, stop, don't mess up my life."

Where the heck did she hear that?

T.J. and I were quite stern with her about saying it, but it was hard to keep a straight face. She made up for it by spontaneously telling me she loved me. I think that is the first time she volunteered it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cousin's Birthday

As previously mentioned, we went to Shelby's birthday party on Saturday. Here are some pics:

Bronwen, making herself at home at the Gymboree:
Camille and I explain to Lila about the fun toys at Gymboree, although Lila doesn't seem too sure:
Lila is finally convinced!
Bronwen braves the air tube and jumps! (Lila is intrigued by Aunt Kadee's necklace)
Into the "birthday cupcake."
After the party, we went to Kadee's house for gumbo and camaraderie. Basically, we just shuffled babies around a whole bunch. Here cousins Jay, Lila, and Evan enjoy some floor time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19

Went to Shelby's party at the Mandeville Gymboree, and Bronwen seemed a bit unimpressed. She only got excited when we finally left and went next door to Stage to see the mannequins. Those eagle eyes spot mannequins from a mile away.

Went back to Kadee's for gumbo--Bronwen delighted in giving her baby cousin Evan toys, but when Lila joined in, she took the toys away telling her, "No, no, those are Evan's." I don't think Evan would have minded.

Lila vocally protested the whole way back. Ear-splitingly so. I made TJ pull over 15 minutes into the trip to feed her in hopes of calming her down, but no such luck. Back into the seat, back to the shrill screams. She finally passed out--10 minutes from home. Bronwen was good--tried to sing a mash-up of Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree to keep everyone's spirits up. Went like this "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, Hey! Jingle bells jingle bells, what a swell time to rock the night away. Jingle bell time is a right time to rock around the Christmas tree."

And Lila screamed through it all.

Going to have a drink now. Cheers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17

I am really digging how Bronwen has been thanking me spontaneously for things. Today it was for the wreath outside (she thinks I made it for her) and for taking her to Gymboree.

I try to spontaneously thank her for things now too. Try it--it's really fun, and the person will be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, Part II

T.J. had to stay late at work today, so I took the girls to Gymboree for some free play time. There was one girl there who was drawn to Bronwen immediately. I was curious to see how the interaction would play itself out; Bronwen doesn't really play with others yet--just beside them. Next thing I know, those two little girls were like peas and carrots, playing together like old friends. What I found the most fascinating was that Bronwen ended up being the leader. Everything she said/did, the other girl would mimic. Sadly this extended to telling Lila, "Don't look at me." Bronwen's shadow, "Don't look at me." (Poor Lila, smiled the whole time through the mistreatment.) Now perhaps this other girl was just a born follower, but I still think Bronwen showed great potential for exerting herself and inspiring others. She wasn't even being bossy (except to her sister, naturally). I was so proud, especially when I asked the other girl's mother how old she was. Answer: 4.


December 16

T.J.'s family is planning on meeting up on the 23rd to go to the New Orleans zoo. I wasn't thrilled with the plan, especially since it is an hour away and Lila is only 8 months old. I figured that day it would be best (and easier) to just divide and conquer.

Then this morning:

Bronwen: I want to go to the zoo.
Me: The zoo?
B: The New Orleans Zoo.
Me: Bronwen you will go to the zoo, but not today. You're going next week with Daddy.
B: With you too, Mama.
Me: Me too?
B: Yes, and Lila. Because it's Christmas time.

Guess we're all going to the zoo. You just can't argue with that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, Part II

Bronwen was playing with a pink belt of hers today and was bending it. She told me it was in the shape of a stocking--I looked, and sure enough, it was clearly a stocking shape. The conversation went something like this:

Bronwen: Look, Buddy Bert, a stocking!
Me: Why Bronwen, it IS a stocking.
Bronwen: Can we hang it?
Me: Mmmhmmm. Let's do that.
Bronwen: Not Mmhm, Mama; you're supposed to say, "Yes."


Smiley McGee

It's tough getting Lila when she wakes up in the afternoon. Witness the torture:

December 15

Bronwen has lately been referring to me as "Buddy Bert." I don't mind too much, but why did she have to choose the muppet with the unibrow? Maybe it has to do with my pointing out the pigeons at Target yesterday.

Her hair has gotten so long--she sometimes lets me braid it. I've been able to French braid it before, but yesterday I just put it in a simple little braid in the back. Not too neat, I know. I love how the bottom just curls up. That is Lila's giant head in the corner.
And here is a pic of our tree:

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14

I think I am going to rethink my blog posts a little. I will still include pictures when available, but I want to add more of the day-to-day details that I find so endearing. Things that I will no doubt forget within weeks or months because memory is so fleeting.

She here it goes.

Sunday at church Bronwen saw the pile of gifts in the back for the "giving trees" and belted out "Happy birthday Jesus" with such enthusiasm several people turned and smiled. I was so proud.

T.J. has been telling her not to say, "Um hm" but to say "Yes." I now get reprimanded when I do it. I do it a lot. Thanks, T.J.

When I go in at night to tuck Bronwen into bed, she now wants me to get in the bed to cuddle with her. I don't mind--she wraps her tiny little arms around my neck, and it is the best feeling in the world. As I closed the door behind me tonight, I heard her say, "See you in the morning light." I look forward to it.

Christmas Cookies

Let the baking begin! Luckily I have my chief assistant to supervise all aspects of cookie creation. Then there is my second assistant who began her quality control duties from the floor:
"Hmmm what would make these cookies even better?"
The perfect thumb to make indentations:
This was the fourth kind of cookie we worked on this weekend. Bronwen is becoming quite the baker, but it's her tasting skills that really shine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smiling Lila

Lila has the best smile, but if you can be really silly, she will smile this great grin where her nose will scrunch up. Here I attempt to make her do it by playing peek-a-boo. I didn't get it, but it was a good attempt.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I am trying to show my Christmas decorations, in part, plus the girls are just hanging out. It is a normal Wednesday. :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Little Speedy Gonzales

Once again, lighting is poor, but I had every light blazing. Today is just a gloomy day.
First video, Bronwen is showing her mad skills. Second video, Lila is showing off hers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You've Got Mail

Aunt Jana instructed Mimi to put a stamp on Lila and send her to New Jersey. What she didn't know is that Mimi actually tried.

Lila was really excited until she discovered that she didn't have enough postage.

Assistant Extraordinaire

Here she is helping Dja Dja fix the computer:Helping Mimi nap:Feeling quite proud of herself:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Children's Museum

While Mom and Dad were here visiting, we decided to kidnap T.J. from work and journey to the great city of New Orleans, where we visited the Children's Museum. While there, Bronwen and Lila got to explore many career opportunities.

Lounge Singer:
Toy Tester:
Line Cook:
Waitress: (She was bringing Mimi her birthday cake)
Truck Driver:

Captain: so this wasn't a career, however, Bronwen did get to stand in the middle of a gigantic bubble. Here she had just popped it.
Despite the masses of school children that descended upon the place shortly after we arrived, I would say we all had a good time. Even Mimi.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guest Blog Authored By T.J.

We decided to take at trip to the lakes to see the pelicans this weekend.
Lila was up for the challenge - literally.
Bronwen explained to Lila that pelicans are birds that have large bills and eat fish and...
Is that a pelican? No, it's an egret.
Is that a pelican? No, it's a bald eagle!!
There are the pelicans!
Bronwen disapproved of the photographer's suggested composition... refusing to turn around and smile. I did not recognize her brilliance until later.
Then Bronwen saw something even more exciting than the pelicans, bald eagles, and egrets...

But the pigeons were not welcome where she wanted to play.
Shoo, pigeons!
Finally, we can relax and enjoy the beautiful day.